Act III Scene III. London. A Room In Sir Christopher Hales's House.

[The Music plays, they bring out the banquet. Enter Sir
Christopher Hales, and Cromwell, and two servants.]

Come, sirs, be careful of your master's credit,
And as our bounty now exceeds the figure
Of common entertainment: so do you
With looks as free as is your master's soul,
Give formal welcome to the thronged tables,
That shall receive the Cardinal's followers
And the attendants of the Lord Chancellor.
But all my care, Cromwell, depends on thee.
Thou art a man differing from vulgar form,
And by how much thy spirit is ranked bove these
In rules of Art, by so much it shines brighter
By travel whose observance pleads his merit,
In a most learned, yet unaffecting spirit,
Good Cromwell, cast an eye of fair regard
Bout all my house, and what this ruder flesh,
Through ignorance, or wine, do miscreate,
Salve thou with courtesy: if welcome want,
Full bowls and ample banquets will seem scant.

Sir, what soever lies in me,
Assure you, I will shew my utmost duty.

[Exit Cromwell.]

About it, then; the Lords will straight be here.--
Cromwell, thou hast those parts would rather suit
The service of the state, than of my house.
I look upon thee with a loving eye,
That one day will prefer thy destiny.

[Enter Messenger.]

Sir, the Lords be at hand.

They are welcome; bid Cromwell straight attend us,
And look you all things be in perfect readiness.

[The Music plays. Enter Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas
More and Gardiner.]

O, sir Christopher,
You are too liberal. What, a banket to?

My Lords, if words could show the ample welcome,
That my free heart affords you, I could then
Become a prater, but I now must deal
Like a feast Politician with your Lordships;
Defer your welcome till the banket end,
That it may then salve our defect of fair:
Yet Welcome now and all that tend on you.

Thanks to the kind master of the Rules.

Come and sit down; sit down, sir Thomas More.
Tis strange, how that we and the Spaniard differ.
Their dinner is our banquet after dinner,
And they are men of active disposition.
This I gather: that by their sparing meat
Their body is more fitter for the wars,
And if that famine chance to pinch their maws,
Being used to fast it breeds less pain.

Fill me some Wine: I'll answer Cardinal Wolsey.
My Lord, we English are of more freer souls
Than hungerstarved and ill complexioned spaniards.
They that are rich in Spain spare belly food,
To deck their backs with an Italian hood,
And Silks of Civil: And the poorest Snake,
That feeds on Lemons, Pilchers, and near heated
His pallet with sweet flesh, will bear a case
More fat and gallant than his starved face.
Pride, the Inquisition, and this belly evil,
Are, in my judgement, Spain's three headed devil.

Indeed it is a plague unto their nation,
Who stagger after in blind imitation.

My Lords, with welcome, I present your Lordships
A solemn health.

I love health well, but when as healths do bring
Pain to the head and bodies sufeiting,
Then cease I healths.--
Nay, spill not, friend, for though the drops be small,
Yet have they force, to force men to the wall.

Sir Christopher, is that your man?

And like your grace; he is a Scholar and
A Lingest, one that hath travelled many parts
Of Christendom, my Lord.

My friend, come nearer; have you been a traveller?

My Lord, I have added to my knowledge the low Countries,
France, Spain, Germany, and Italy:
And though small gain of profit I did find,
Yet did it please my eye, content my mind.

What do you think of the several states
And princes' Courts as you have travelled?

My Lord, no Court with England may compare,
Neither for state nor civil government:
Lust dwells in France, in Italy, and Spain,
From the poor peasant to the Prince's train,
In Germany and Holland riot serves,
And he that most can drink, most he deserves:
England I praise not, for I here was borne,
But that she laugheth the others unto scorn.

My Lord, there dwells within that spirit
More than can be discerned by outward eye.
Sir Christopher, will you part with your man?

I have sought to profer him to your Lordship,
And now I see he hath prefered himself.

What is thy name?

Cromwell, my Lord.

Then, Cromwell, here we make thee Solicitor of
our causes, and nearest next our self. Gardiner
give you kind welcome to the man.

[Gardiner embraces him.]

My Lord, you are a royal Winer,
Have got a man besides your bounteous dinner.
Well, Knight, pray we come no more:
If we come often, thou maist shut thy door.

Sir Christopher, hadst thou given me half thy lands,
Thou couldest not have pleased me so much as with
This man of thine. My infant thoughts do spell:
Shortly his fortune shall be lifted higher;
True industry doth kindle honour's fire.
And so, kind master of the Rules, farewell.

Cromwell, farewell.

Cromwell takes his leave of you,
That near will leave to love and honour you.

[Exit omnes. The Music plays, as they go in.]
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